The issues we're working to address
The prevalence of mental health and wellbeing issues is similar across Australian communities, but the impact runs far deeper in rural and remote communities. Social, economic and geographic barriers to help-seeking prevent many from accessing support, leading to poor mental health and wellbeing outcomes.
* Western Queenslanders refers to people living in the West Queensland Primary Health Network region.
Understanding our young people's mental health and service needs
The heart and strategic direction of Outback Futures is bush-informed by our experiences and conversations with people and communities in rural and remote Queensland. Broader research, such as the ReachOut Australia and Mission Australia ‘Lifting the Weight' report, also help shape our understanding of the unique needs of our outback family in the areas of mental health and wellbeing.
Young people living in regional and remote areas identified many benefits of living in these areas, including appreciating the slower pace of life, the opportunities to be outdoors and to connect with nature, and the strength of their relationships with family and friends in their communities. However, challenges were also identified, such as feelings of loneliness, isolation, boredom and aimlessness due to a lack of social, recreational and/or employment opportunities. (Executive Summary, pg 6)
When young people living in regional and remote areas were presented with a range of issues, the top three things they were very or extremely concerned about were coping with stress (42.2 per cent), school or study problems (36 per cent) and body image (30.4 per cent). In addition, approximately one in four young people in regional and remote areas were very or extremely concerned about depression, and approximately one in seven were very or extremely concerned about suicide. (Executive Summary, pg 6)